Thu, Aug 08, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Industrial output fell in June

Industrial production in June dropped for the second time in three months, the latest signal of weakness from Europe’s biggest economy. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy yesterday said that production was down 1.5 percent compared with the previous month. That followed a 2 percent decline in April and a 0.1 percent gain in May. Economists had forecast a more modest 0.6 percent drop for June. On Tuesday, official data showed that factory orders increased by an unexpectedly strong 2.5 percent in June.

BANKING

Commerzbank profit steady

Germany’s second-biggest lender, Commerzbank AG, yesterday said that second-quarter profit was steady. Net profit shrank 0.3 percent to 271 million euros (US$303.4 million) and revenue fell 2.2 percent to 2.1 billion euros. Looking ahead to the full year, the bank said in a statement that it expects “higher underlying revenues” compared with last year’s 8.6 billion euros and “a slight increase in consolidated net income” from 865 million euros last year.

BANKING

CBA annual profit falls 8.1%

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the country’s biggest lender, yesterday posted weaker annual profit for the second year running after a tumultuous year of industry scandals. The bank reported A$8.57 billion (US$5.77 billion) in statutory net profit for the financial year ending June 30, down 8.1 percent from the same period last year, while its preferred earnings measure of cash profit fell 4.7 percent to A$8.49 billion. CBA said that it paid out A$918 million in customer remediation costs in the financial year, along with an additional $358 million to boost compliance.

AIRLINES

Cathay warns over tensions

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd yesterday said that geopolitical and trade tensions are likely to hurt business after the airline rebounded to a profit in the first half of this year. Protests in Hong Kong last month cut inbound passenger traffic and are “adversely” affecting bookings, Cathay said in a statement. First-half net income was HK$1.35 billion (US$172.18 million), compared with a year-ago loss of HK$263 million. With some companies advising staff to put off travel to Hong Kong, second-half performance could come under further pressure, it said.

CONGLOMERATES

Softbank Q1 net profit triples

Softbank Group Corp yesterday said that its first-quarter net profit more than tripled thanks to exceptional gains related to the sale of shares in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴). Softbank announced net profit of ¥1.12 trillion (US$10.54 billion) for the three months to June, up 257.6 percent from the same period last year. Sales rose 2.8 percent to ¥2.34 trillion, while operating profit dipped 3.7 percent to ¥690 billion, it said.

CHEMICALS

DuPont mulls unit spin-off

DuPont de Nemours Inc — fresh off the breakup of chemical giant DowDuPont Inc — is considering unloading its nutrition and biosciences division, people familiar with the matter said. The specialty chemicals maker is working with advisers to evaluate options that could include selling or spinning off the business, the people said. It is also considering a so-called Reverse Morris Trust, or a tax-free merger, with another firm.

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